Without wishing to put a curse on it, our weather appears to be getting better, which I think we can all agree is excellent news.
So far this year we haven’t exactly had many opportunities to embrace a full summer wardrobe, so we need to make the most of any and every bit of sunshine. With more and more men becoming acquainted with style and fashion, the desire to stand out has increased ten fold.
Making a statement with a key item is one of the easiest ways to achieve such individuality, but it can also be a dangerous game to play. Get it wrong and the consequences can be dire but get it right and you have an outfit that few others could even dream of.
With the gradual acceptance of colour in the last few seasons, a bold and creative blazer is a fantastic way to make your statement; mixing tailoring, refined lines and the structure we all crave, with a sense of playfulness and daring that can often make the difference between good style and great style.
A vibrant block colour blazer is arguably the boldest way of making a statement with your tailoring. Short of a full suit, a blazer forms a large part of an outfit, so its impact on the look as a whole is substantial. With a blazer there is nothing to hide behind short of taking the thing off, but that defeats the point of wearing it in the first place.
Confidence therefore is the key. You really have to want to wear a statement blazer and be totally comfortable with it. It might be worth working your way up the colour scale, building up the tones as you become acquainted with what works and what doesn’t.
Bearing in mind the fact that you want this one item to be your statement, you should try to keep the other colours you use simple and muted. You won’t ever go wrong with a white shirt, tee or polo under a coloured blazer but bearing in mind the colour wheel, there is no reason you shouldn’t incorporate some alternatives.
As you can see below, I have chosen to use a patterned shirt in my example look. This is a perfectly acceptable choice but I would suggest choosing patterns that have a versatile base colour (in this instance white) so that you can easily tie the colour of your blazer and shirt together while having the security of knowing that you aren’t going overboard – the actual pattern itself is entirely up to you.
A pair of indigo jeans is the simplest way to anchor this outfit and combat the boldness of your upper half. A pair of desert boots will always be a classic and workable choice but you could equally use your brogues or Oxfords. Of course, no blazer is complete without the obligatory pocket square, but bear in mind the rest of the look and choose plain colours if your top is a bit wild; patterned if you’ve gone for something simpler.
For any of you who are fans of preppy style, the stripped blazer is a fantastic choice. Perhaps more associated with English prep over American, stripped blazers are surprisingly versatile, especially if you go for something classic. A pin stripe navy jacket for example is subtle choice for anyone that would like something a bit different but doesn’t want to go all out with a boat club inspired design.
Whether you go double or single breasted is a matter of individual choice, either style can work equally well but a double breasted style is probably the more daring of the two. Personally I am a big fan of the double breasted jacket (and suit for that matter) because I think it takes an ordinary outfit to another level and can really attract attention. Modern takes on this style are also very well cut and purposely slimmer fitting, so with only a few alterations you can have something that fits like a glove, has heritage and looks amazing.
But you don’t have to stick to restrained designs. As I have previously mentioned, the boating blazer is a very strong look at the moment and the colours that can be seen in styles of this type are a great addition to an outfit. In a similar vein to choosing your tie and shirt combination, why not try and pick out one of the colours in the blazer and use that as your under layer shade? I would stick to shirts with these blazers because their design has more formal connotations and would benefit from a decent level of structure within an outfit.
A pair of stone chinos or white trousers will be the perfect accompaniment to a blazer of this nature and if you roll the hem a little, and wear a pair of brogues (with or without socks), you can create a quintessentially English prep look. When the weather gets cooler you could also team it with a cream cricketing jumper for an added touch of sporting class.
The checked blazer is another exciting pattern that you might want to mix into your wardrobe, not only because of the pattern itself but also because of the colours that tend to be used. Certainly those made in madras or general plaid seem to make use of bold colour palettes, so it will definitely be an item to push boundaries.
With this style you could again pick out one colour and use this as the tone for the under layer. The smaller the colour or the less it is used, the more daring the combination will be – but the more it will make those colours pop. Alternatively, make use of your monochrome basics, such as grey, black, navy or white.
More than any other blazer I feel this is the best candidate for use with shorts. The casual aesthetic of the pattern works well with the unavoidable casual design of a pair of shorts, especially when the blazer is a little more unstructured – perhaps in lightweight materials like linen. Once again, the blazer should be the statement, so make sure you use restrained colours elsewhere; stone or navy chino shorts are perfect here and won’t intrude too much on the presence of the blazer.
This is a great outfit to wear with sandals, with the loose structure helping to tie all the casual elements all together. However, if you fancied something more solid, loafers or suede Oxfords are another good choice; it really just depends on the image you are trying to create. Classic sunglasses will make this a great summer party look, taking you from afternoon to evening with little effort and guaranteeing you a standout outfit.
The statement blazer is a great spring/summer option and despite the fact that the previous few weeks haven’t exactly been indicative of a lighter wardrobe, we need to make the most of every opportunity that presents itself. By choosing a single item to be bold with you give yourself room to manoeuvre elsewhere, ensuring that you don’t go overboard with colour or design.
So with the weather looking up, will you be making a statement?
Let me know in the comments below.